Hogg Keen To Impress At Phoenix

Former Auckland City defender Ian Hogg can’t wait to start training after signing a professional contract with the Wellington Phoenix that will take him through to the end of the Hyundai A-League season.

Former Auckland City defender Ian Hogg can-t wait to start training after signing a professional contract with the Wellington Phoenix that will take him through to the end of the Hyundai A-League season.

The 23-year-old Hawke-s Bay born player impressed Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert with his performances for the All Whites and the New Zealand under-23 team, and now gets the chance to show the coach he is good enough to earn a contract for next season.

“I-ve been waiting a while to get a break here and now that it-s come I can-t wait to get started,” Hogg said today.

“I think it is a good time to come in because Ricki is giving young guys a chance and playing a new style that I believe will suit my game.

“At the Olympics the team played a free style type of game which allowed me to get forward and hopefully it will be the same here.”

Hogg acknowledged he faces a tough task over the next few months but is ready for the challenge.

“It is up to me now that Ricki has given me this opportunity and I will be working hard to show I-m up to it,” he said.

Hogg did his chances no harm when scoring on his senior All Whites- debut against El Salvador and going on to perform solidly at the London Olympics where he started all three games.

Herbert was particularly impressed with the way he handled himself against a talented Brazil team.

“It helped that I-d played against Brazil at the 2008 Olympics,” Hogg said.

“I told myself not to be overawed by them and I went out and played my natural game. I think the whole team played well against them.”

Hogg-s most recent club was Portland Timbers in the MLS who he joined straight after the Olympics.

While not making a first team appearance, Hogg played reserve team games after initially having visa problems that stopped him playing.

Despite not having played since September Hogg came through Phoenix fitness testing without any issues.

“No player likes the tests and while I hadn-t trained for a couple of months, apart from some running, I am naturally fit and got through it okay.

“I-m sure I-ll be fine after a couple of weeks training.”

Hogg will train with the Phoenix squad for the first time on Wednesday and will be eligible to play for the club from January 14.